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Cat Conner Cat Conner

After singing for many years with some of the hottest West Coast jazz musicians, Cat Conner released her first CD, called “Cat Tales,” on Rhombus Records in June 2012. Featuring the great George Mesterhazy on piano, Gene Cipriano on woodwinds, and Jim Hughart on bass, the CD has made critics take notice. All About Jazz called Cat’s voice “radiant” and said, “This is an impressive debut for a singer who should be much better known.”

Cat is a multi-talented performer who has also studied acting, musical theater and improv, and has even written and recorded an album of children’s songs. But her first and true love has always been music. A Toronto native, she fell in love with jazz at the age of 14 when her mum took her to Massey Hall to hear and meet backstage the one and only Ella Fitzgerald.

She was hooked, and when she was a bit older, she took a job as a hostess in Toronto’s Hook & Ladder Jazz Club so she could hear in person, every night of the week, some of the greatest big bands ever, like the Count Basie and the Duke Ellington Orchestras. That’s when Cat caught the attention of Stan Getz, who heard her rich speaking and singing voice and set her up with a vocal teacher. And that was the beginning of Cat’s musical journey as a jazz performer. Before long, she was singing with some of the biggest names in Canadian jazz, like Peter Appleyard, Eugene Amaro and Don “DT” Thompson.

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Of these four songs, the most revelatory is Conner's and Mesterhazy's treatment of “If You could See Me Now.” Again, the song is slowed to the point where its subatomic compositional mechanics can be nakedly seen. Conner delivers the lament languidly with a relaxed intent, one with equal amounts of regret and gratitude. She exercises all sub-ranges of her sturdy and muscular alto voice, singing with perfect poise and delivery. Conner is a student of the song rather than its melodic interpretation. C. MICHAEL BAILEY

“Conner is simply a natural. No gimmicks, no show biz, no schmaltz, no frosting

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Album Cat House by Cat Conner

Cat House

Cat Tales Records

Album Cat Tales by Cat Conner

Cat Tales

Cat Tales Records

Album Cat Conner: Cat Tales by Cat Conner

Cat Conner: Cat Tales

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